Aronui 2020 postponed
ARONUI Indigenous Arts Festival has postponed its two-week calendar of events in Rotorua which was scheduled to take place from September 8th to 20th. This is due to restrictions on large gatherings under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
At this alert level, mass gatherings are restricted to 100 people, with all events needing to follow strict physical distancing procedures. With our head act currently on lock-down in Auckland under alert level 3, their schedule has been affected which impacts the opening plans for the festival. Rotorua is also on alert due to the visitation of a member from the Auckland cluster to our town in early August.
ARONUI Arts Festival Trust Chair, Mercia-Dawn Yates, believes “it is imperative at this time that we ensure the health and well-being of our performers, community, iwi and koeke”
ARONUI Festival Director Cian Elyse White led the difficult call, after careful consultation with the trust, funders, iwi leaders and the artists.
“I’m incredibly proud of the ARONUI team’s efforts this year and even though we are ready to press go on this inspiring calendar of events, the latest announcement of community transmission in Auckland has made us pause and carefully consider our next steps as a festival”. Ms. White says “When it comes down to it, the safety and well-being of our koeke, iwi, community and artists is paramount, and putting our people at risk is simply not an option.”
With events like the ARONUI Māori Market which has over 40 stalls, a team of 80 artists and an expected crowd of over 2000 people (in alignment with last year’s market numbers) the trust endorses the decision to hold off on the festival to avoid reducing numbers and lessening the impact of our kaupapa.
Te Arawa leader, Sir Toby Curtis, says “ARONUI is all about bringing people together to celebrate high-quality indigenous arts here in Te Arawa”. Although Tā Toby was looking forward to seeing Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai on stage with Hawaiki Tū, he believes that “if we aren’t able to be there safely and en masse to celebrate our people, we must postpone to a later date when we are free to do so”.
Ngāti Whakaue leaders Monty Morrison and Norma Sturley agree the postponement of ARONUI is a sensible decision. “The postponement is in the best interest of our koeke who are the most at risk demographic. Therefore, it is a decision that we commend the leadership on, and the team have our full backing”.
The postponement dates will be confirmed in the next month, however, Mercia-Dawn Yates & the ARONUI arts festival team remain hopeful.
“ARONUI isn’t ARONUI without the people, and we are building a legacy in this space. This is not a cancellation, rather a postponement, and I look forward to us coming together at a later date to celebrate, uplift and inspire through indigenous arts, when it is safe to do so, without any restrictions”.
Full refunds will be issued via. Ticketmaster who will be in touch directly with all ticket holders. Postponement dates will be released via. social media and on the ARONUI website at a later date. http://www.aronuiartsfestival.com
For further media enquiries please contact Johnsen Kiwi-Scally firstname.lastname@example.org
The following programme is postponed and new dates will be announced shortly.
Aronui supporting indigenous arts development
Arotahi refers to the "fringe" events that are supporting the development of indigenous artists and performers.
Saturday Night Live by RBHS
September 11 - 19, 2020
Rotorua Boys High School
With a cast of majority indigenous students, Saturday Night Fever promises to be an fantastic production starring some of the best up-and-coming performing talent in Rotorua.
Mihi mai ki a Rosie Te Rauawhea Belvie and Matiu Hamuera who bring to life the essence of the Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival through our official video trailer. These two experienced performers tell us, while preparing for the video, they embraced the mauri (essence) of Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother). Their performance also harnesses the wairua (spirit) of Te Arawa Rotorua ancestors, Hinemoa and Tūtānekai.